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El espíritu de la colmena (1973)
Best foreign film from Spain EVER?
I appreciate a good foreign film as well as the next critic, but aside from the great acting performances by the two sisters, and the lovely cinematography, there is little here to maintain one's interest. I kept waiting for something to happen, other than the director's symbolism, and alas, nothing did. I'm sure there are messages here and there that I apparently missed, but I sure as hell cannot fathom where they might be.
I even speak Spanish, and it didn't help in trying to "get" this film. I was duped by the 7.8 rating on this site, and the push in the paper to be "sure to watch this film".
I can't honestly advise anyone to waste the hour or so it takes to watch this film, so I won't.
Judy Garland-Judy Davis-take your pick
Once in a great while, a bio-pic really gets it right. This is one of those "whiles". Not only was Judy Garland a legend, alive or dead, asking an actress to take on this all-encompassing role, is truly a reach. Whoever found Judy Davis, a consummate actress in her own right, should be given a separate trophy for casting.
The multi-faceted career of the great Garland would be tough enough to imagine as an actress, but to go out an DO what Davis did to this characterization, almost defies the word, "talent". She IS Judy Garland, in every scene throughout the film.
She shows you the person inside the "star", and the studio-created nova that had audiences screaming for more and more. She strove to give them that, and she paid for it dearly, with personal anguish and a reliance on drugs that eventually killed her. She became the "property" of the public and while in her earlier years, she enjoyed that acclaim, it ate her up later in her movie life.
If you knew ANYTHING at all about Judy Garland, you MUST watch this tour-de-force by the amazing Judy Davis. As I pointed out in the heading, in this film, they are one and the same.
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)
Are you kidding me??
This is the only picture I have ever seen that is NOT as good as "Planet 9", the ridiculous film flop from Ed Wood. I suppose some moron was trying for a "spoof", but what he got was a film that should have all of it's copies destroyed.
I have to add a few more comments here, because they told me that I didn't have enough lines for my comments. so....
Forget it! Skip it! Mail a copy to an enemy! Burn the tape! Make your misbehaving kids watch it for punishment. Warning: This black & white travesty make make you start smoking again!
Save yourself from these aliens...please...get away...get VERY FAR away from this movie.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Lost is right!! I need a translator.
Once again Hollywood rears it's ugly publicity-seeking head and tells us that we will LOVE this "Comedy". The best part about this film was the Japanese scenery. It was actually BORING, and I consider myself a very erudite film critic. For some magical, mystical reason, this movie actually was nominated as "best film". Wow!
I know this opinion is going to get lost among the thousands who have voted this vehicle an 8.0 on the 10 scale, but I don't care. If I can save one movie-goer from being bored for almost two hours, it will be well worth it.
The ONLY reason to invest your time in this mess, is to see if you can find an honestly 'funny' scene'. Good luck, or as we say in Japan, "Bullsheet".
Full Frontal (2002)
For this I rented the DVD??
I read just a little about this movie on the DVD jacket. That was full of baloney. Sonderberg? Supposedly, a "genius" as a director. Well, he lost my vote only a few minutes in, but with the star-power of the lineup and the promise of Digital Dolby Surround, I decided to let it run a little. Boy am I glad I waited, because I was treated to a nap in my big leather chair...a luxury not usually afforded me. By the way, this thing needed Dobly sound like I need the flu. ALL THEY DO IS TALK!
This thing is SO boring, I don't think even the participants liked it. He has a lot of connections apparently, so he was able to attract some "names" for this farce. There are some people in this mess that I KNOW are embarrassed now that it's out for home viewing. It's no wonder at all that it didn't do well with it's run in the theaters.
Please look up some of my other reviews, so you know you are not reading the ramblings of an ignorant viewer who just happened not to like a specific film. I am simply trying to save you some of your precious time by touting you off this thing...unless you too, need a nap.
This guy directed "Traffic". Go figure.
Rat Race (2001)
One of these words is correct..."Rat"
In an obvious attempt to parody a great film ( "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world"), this inane compilation of nonsense is saved only by it's short length. Any longer, and my TV set might not have survived.
The producers made an attempt to collect some "names" for these ditzy roles, but they all fall flat on their silly faces. What a disaster, trying to watch an Oscar winner (Cuba Gooding Jr.) attempt to salvage a role that requires an idiot's mentality. I am certain he is very sorry he accepted this fluff.
So, why did I watch this you ask? Just so I could warn the rest of you. If you are past the age of thirty, don't go near this thing. In fact, if you are an elderly person ( past fifty) DEFINITELY skip this waste of time. Oh yes, they wasted another Oscar winner too, asking Kathy Bates to deliver a scene as a roadside peddler that even Whoopi Goldberg couldn't save.
It's pretty clear that a lot of "favors" were repaid by these stars agreeing to jeopardize their careers with an acceptance to be in this film.
One last thought. Who are all you morons that voted this thing a 6.6 on a scale of 10 ???
I left after the two leading half-wits went to the Klaus Barbie museum. You should leave LONG before then.
In the Bedroom (2001)
Another highly hyped and mediocre film.
I'd like to state that I am considered by many to be an above-average movie critic. I begin each film with no premise of disappointment,but rather an open mind that says, "Show me what you're worth". <p>
I did that with this film as well, and was sadly disappointed. To begin with, it takes FOREVER to even establish any "suspense", and despite the fact that I am a Sissy Spacek fan, even she couldn't carry this corpse. <p>
When something finally happens ( and it's clearly predictable), it is a combination of scenes that rattle around endlessly, and leave you with an "are they kidding??" overview. <p>
As with many movies of late, people in charge of these things have difficulty in ending films.This one is no exception. The ending mystified me. <p>
You'll probably watch it because of the multiple (5) nominations, one oddly for Best Picture, and you can make up your own mind, but if you have time constraints, and have to choose between I.T.B. and "Coal Miner's Daughter", select C.M.D.
Monster's Ball (2001)
The "Monster" part is at least descriptive!
As usual, the hype and ballyhoo of Hollywood cons us into watching pictures we would normally do without. I got taken in by Berry's Academy Award, and wanted to see a performance that would show me why she was selected. <p>
Well, let me tell you why she was selected. It had nothing to do with a major performance in a motion picture. She got the award because years ago the academy nominated Dorothy Dandridge for a great role in "Carmen Jones". Guess who won the award that year? Grace Kelly, for "The Country Girl", a movie in which she did a lot of standing around while delivering no emotion whatsoever. They weren't ready to give the top prize to a black actress. <p>
The very same thing happened with John Wayne, when they realized his star power, they gave him the award for "True Grit", hardly a "moving" performance. It was just that he was "due". That's what happened here. There was a lot of pressure to honor a black actress. Halle clearly did not deliver one of the strongest female roles of the past year by a long shot.<p>
When you watch this mess, and you will, see if you can spot "greatness" in any sense of the word. In some scenes, she is downright ridiculous in her line delivery.<p>
I never thought I'd see the day that Billy Bob was the best part of any motion picture, but there it is. Let's hope you really enjoy your movie snack when you watch this one.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Only if you have 2 1/2 hours to waste.
There was so much hype on this film when it was made, I simply had to see what the fuss was about. Let me first tell you, that I am a qualified movie critic, and the first time around with this picture,I really wasn't sure what I had seen. I gave it another shot, alone, and with an open mind. I am now wondering what else I could have done with my time.
For some reason, Hollywood seems to want to canonize David Lynch. If it were up to me, I would ostracize, not canonize. All his films go off on weird tangents, but this one is way out there. I cannot understand how it has received an 8.1 rating ( out of a possible ten), from THOUSANDS of viewers.
Good manners keeps me from the words I would like to apply here...suffice to say, that unless you are crazy about Lynch's work, forget this melange of twelve movies in one.
This is NOT one of those movies you remember for "quality"
When I first saw the lineup of actors in this film, I was thinking, "How bad can it be"? Well, I found out. It wanders all over the place and wastes some "major" talent who all fell by the wayside trying to react to the writer-director's desires. It has never been made clearer that a director makes the movie, and not the actors, than in this uneven waste of time.
With the lone exception of the treatment Nick Nolte receives at the hand of a tramp at his dinner table, I would remember very little.
Just "trust me" ( I hate that line, but...) when I tell you that you have better things to do. If you are a BIG fan of Emily Watson, than go ahead, but other than that, there is no reason to bother with this mindless drivel. I have critiqued a few other movies and been complimented on my synopsis, so you can rely on this recommendation.
It looks to me like our director was "calling in" some favors.